Mispricing costs Africa US$50bn annually

A Minister of State at the Presidency, Akwasi Oppong Fosu, has disclosed that Africa loses an estimated value of over US$50billion annually through mispricing of goods alone.

These losses — some through illicit financial flows and associated economic crimes, tax evasion, transfer pricing and money laundering — he noted, have over the years deprived the continent of much-needed domestic expenditure and investment resources for its rapid economic transformation.

Mr. Fosu said this when he addressed the 2015 Crans Montana Forum, which hosted the 17th International Summit on Homeland, Global Security and Transnational Crime held in Geneva, Switzerland.

According to him, Africa remains a paradox — described as resource-rich but access poor; partly blamable on corruption and misgovernance due to week regulatory frameworks on the part of its leaders.

He stated that Africa`s natural resource exploitation has led to poverty, unemployment and environmental degradation.

The minister noted that HIV/AIDS and the recent Ebola epidemic continue to fuel social and political tensions in Africa, resulting in threats to global security and peace.

Mr. Opppong Fosu — who is also the Member of Parliament for the Amenfi East constituency and former minister for both Local Government and Rural Development and Environment, Science Technology and Innovation — stated that the annual illicit financial transfers from the continent are estimated to be double what it receives from the so-called developed world as the Overseas Development Assistance.

This, he said, has left Africa with less resources to fight poverty and deprivation through the provision of basic services that are much-needed for its economic and social infrastructure growth to improve the standard of living for the continent’s populace.

He revealed that the African Union has established a High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa to help check the drain on the continent.

Mr. Oppong Fosu noted the menace poses a threat to global peace and security, and called for concerted efforts from the global community to protect the continent from exploitation.

However, Mr. Oppong Fosu stated that Africa`s economic prospects over the last decade remained very high and he’s very optimistic for the future growing at a faster rate.

“On the economic front Africa is transforming very fast, with rapid and sustained economic growth over the last decade. Many African countries continue to grow at a fast pace, averaging 4.5% in 2014 and projected to grow at 5.1% this year,” he stated.

He called on all well-meaning nations to help protect Afric, which is becoming a major target for the threat of terrorism and associated crime, since Africa represents tomorrow’s alternative for the globe.

Among the several topics discussed at the 2015 Crans Montana Forum were: Global security and terror threats; the need for regional and international cooperation; Security challenges in the energy and transport sector; and protecting energy supply chains.

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